3 March 2024 11:18 PM
Albanians in London hold flags as they gather to celebrate the country's independence day on Tuesday

news: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to ‘celebrate independence day’ with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

Thousands of Albanians have descended on central London to celebrate the country’s independence day.

The streets around Westminster were blocked by raucous crowds waving Albanian flags and setting off fireworks, with Audis, Mercedes and convertible sports cars seen driving on the pavement and honking their horns.

Some people have been seen waving flags while standing through the sunroofs of moving vehicles, while regular traffic trying to get through the capital has been brought to a halt after the rally caused roads to be closed.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it has arrested multiple people after some people threw fireworks towards the crowd, while others threw bottles towards officers.

The force has issued a dispersal order on the streets of central London, giving officers greater powers to make people leave the area or detain them if they refuse.

Albanians in London hold flags as they gather to celebrate the country’s independence day on Tuesday

78348169 12802163 image a 22 1701211865783 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

A young child is seen climbing through a sun roof with an Albanian flag wrapped around him 

78346625 12802163 image a 28 1701210067205 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

A masked man with an Albanian flag draped around his neck talks on the phone during the rally

78346617 12802163 image a 29 1701210098743 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

Police and people attending the rally clash near York Road in Waterloo as the demonstration takes place on Tuesday

78346621 12802163 image a 38 1701210186778 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

Police lead a man away from the Albanian independence day demonstration in central London

Video shared on social media shows demonstrators driving through the capital in front of landmarks such as the London Eye and Big Ben with Albanian flags draped across their bonnets.

In one video, a young child is seen standing up through the sun roof of a car with an Albanian flag wrapped round him as fireworks are let off nearby.

In another, sports cars were seen mounting pavements as Westminster came to a standstill after similar scenes last year.

Loud firecrackers were let off while the long line of vehicles beeped their horns continuously to celebrate Albania’s independence, which is commemorated on November 28 each year.

The small European nation became independent on that date in 1912, just 111 years ago.

In a series of posts on X (formerly known as Twitter), the Met confirmed multiple offences had been reported during the demonstration. 

Early in the evening the force wrote: ‘Officers have stopped several vehicle convoys that have travelled into central London this evening.

‘A number of drivers have been reported for driving offences and several vehicles have been seized. Officers will continue to deal with anti-social behaviour. 

78348173 12802163 image a 24 1701211896397 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

Albanians came in their droves to celebrate independence day in London on Tuesday night

78348167 12802163 image a 23 1701211893862 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

Motorists drove through London with Albanian flags draped across their car bonnets 

78347399 12802163 image a 20 1701210921655 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

78347397 12802163 image a 19 1701210920212 - NEWS: Thousands of Albanians descend on streets of Central London to 'celebrate independence day' with police confirming arrests have been made for shooting fireworks and throwing bottles

The Met Police have been sharing photos (above) and updates of the demonstration in London via their X account

‘We believe some of the drivers were travelling to a protest in Belvedere Road, near Jubilee Gardens. 

‘This is ongoing and officers are there to keep people safe and to deal with any offences.’

The police later estimated that ‘around 1,000 people’ had gathered in Belvedere Road as part of the demonstration, with the road closed between York Road and Concert Hall Approach as a result. 

It added: ‘We’ve seen several people waving Albanian flags through the sunroofs of moving cars. This is clearly dangerous. Two cars have been stopped and anyone else seen doing this will be dealt with by officers. 

‘The event in Belvedere Road continues and officers remain in the area to keep people safe. We have made one arrest after a man threw a firework towards the crowd near to Jubilee Gardens. He has been taken into custody.’ 

The force later said a breakaway group of demonstrators gathered near Waterloo Station, where they clashed with police. 

It wrote: ‘A group of people have now gathered in York Road, near Waterloo Station. Officers are in the process of clearing the road and enforcement action will be taken if necessary. 

‘The breakaway group in York Road has become confrontational and aggressive with bottles thrown towards officers. Arrests have been made. We are using Section 35 powers to disperse the crowd and prevent further disorder. Belvedere Road is now clear.’

It follows a rise in Albanian arrivals to the UK last year via small boats crossings. 

Figures showed that at least 13,000 Albanians entered Britain on small boats last year, which was just under a third of all arrivals. 

It’s understood driving factors for people coming to the UK from Albania include better jobs and higher wages. 

But former Home Secretary Suella Braverman sparked a diplomatic row with Tirana last October when she spoke in the House of Commons about ‘allowing all the Albanian criminals to come to this country’. 

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama described the comments as ‘disgraceful’. He added ‘Albanians are not just about the boats’ and warned against allowing ‘some rotten apples’ to shape the view of his countrymen.

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12802163/Thousands-Albanians-descend-streets-Central-London-celebrate-independence-day.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *